Sunday, October 9, 2016

Like Father Like Son...

Hello Everyone!

I am now back in Cauayan Zone! I am now the new Finance Elder for the Philippines Cauayan Mission!  Wow this is a big jump for me.  Just a week ago I was a regular missionary and now I have been called to be the Finance Missionary.  I am a little nervous for such a big position, but I know that if I really on the help of the Lord and try my best always that I will be able to fulfill this position successfully.  You know, I had always never planned on being an accountant like you dad, but I guess it was destined to be because here I am now, going to be handling money and taxes!!! 

My new companion is Elder Estuaria. It is going to be a great couple of cycles.  I learned that I could be here for quite a while so I am glad I get to serve with him!  We are reopening our area so we have lots of contacts and new investigators.  We bore our testimonies on Sunday, and like always, as soon as they saw me lean over to talk into the microphone, they started to laugh.  

Well I am happy to be back in the great Cauayan Zone!  I did honestly kind of miss it and I am in the district of Naguilian, so I may get the chance to see my old branch again!!!!  I am super excited to be here, to have the opportunity to fulfill this position.  I dont really have much more to say except that I am happy to be back, and to be healthy!  

I love you all and will talk to you again next week!


Elder Warren

Member Missionary Work

Hello Family and friends!

Well it was another good week this week.  We had our Stake Conference this week, so I got to attend that on Sunday.  It was inspiring to hear more thoughts from my mission president, President Hiatt. He really stressed the importance of members getting more involved in missionary week, because this is a missionary church.  

Members are not just members, members have the same responsibility as missionaries in that they need to invite all to come unto Christ.   In fact, members are just as if not more important than missionaries when it comes to the week.  They have the responsibility in fellowshipping the investigators, recent converts, and less-actives so that they may retain what the learn.  That is a very important phrase right there.  Retain what you learn.  

The problem with many recent converts is that they have no one close to them besides the missionaries to help them retain the importance of following the commandments of our Heavenly Father.  Missionaries constantly move around, so we depend on the members to make sure they fellow ship those we get to church.  We work as hard as we can, but we need the strength of members more than you know.  Members are key in helping progress the work.  That is why this Church is called a missionary church.  

Anyway, this week we did a lot of walking, like every week but I felt it more because, lucky me I split my heel open!!!  Haha only in the Philippines.  It's alright, what happened as when I was coming into the house, we have two steps, followed by a steel screen door and a wooden door.  The problem with the steel door is that the hinge is broken. So it closes fast sometimes,  This time it closed fast and happened to be right where my right heel was coming up the step.  It left me with a pretty good gash.  Shoes were not my best friend this week, but that wouldn't stop a stubborn guy like me! ;)  

I am already transferring again!  It was so fast here.  I was just really starting to form good relationships with the members here.  I am a little sad to be leaving, but I am also excited to help progress the work in another area!!  Apparently, transfer day has been pushed to Thursday due to a holiday, so I have an extra day here to solidify those relationships I have with this people before I leave!  

I am about to finish 2 Chronicles right now and a lot of it is a different view of the heritage of David.  Its interesting to see the different levels of obedience his descendants had.  Some did not follow the Lord; others followed the Lord, but did not do away with the molten images and high places; and then others followed only the Lord and got rid of the high places.  

I feel like this is kind of like us as members of the church.  We can choose to just be ok, go through the motions and kind of follow the commandments, we can be those who follow the commandments and have meaningful prayer and scripture study, or we can be those who follow whole heartedly the example of our Savior.  They not only follow the commandments, they work on their Christlike attributes, and never hesitate to share a message of the gospel with those around them.  

We need to be like those last members, center our lives around Jesus Christ only.  We need to be actively seeking to make a change around us.  So that everywhere we go, we leave it a little more clean than when we got there.  If we want to have the Spirit with us always, that is the kind of attitude we need to have as members.  Being a member of this church isn't easy, because obtaining salvation was never easy.  Let us remember who we are aspiring to become like, Our Savior.  If we are to become like him, we need to repent.  

I remember hearing once about the definition of repentance, it is making a change in our life and turning...  The turning we should be doing is to our Lord if we would like to truly repent.  Only be relying upon Him may we become truly changed and walking more uprightly before our Heavenly Father.  

Well I hope you all have a great week and I will let you know where my new area is this coming p day!  

Until next week, much love,

Elder Warren

Stand Up for Your Beliefs!!

Hello Family and All,

Well I have survived yet another week!!!  I only was sent 9 hours south to Manila, brought to the MRC (Missionary Recovery Center) which is located in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) and given the best rest of my life!  Haha in all actuality it was a very growing experience for me to go to the MRC. 

Never in my life have turned more to Our Savior for guidance and peace.  Never have I felt the spirit so strongly then when I was with other missionaries who continued to struggle with various sicknesses and injuries.  Yet we all seemed to rely more wholly upon prayer, fasting, and reading our scriptures.  I can not express in words the Spirit that was felt during the Preach My Gospel discussions we had every night.  The testimonies literally jumped steps every night. 

With that said I am very happy to now be back in the field!!!  We have gone back to work and hard!  I am getting excited with some very prospective investigators and I have never been more motivated until now, even though I have never been rejected as much as I am being rejected by people now.  I have people who won't even answer my simple questions of where someone lives because I am from a different belief.  After attempted contacts like those, I honestly could only laugh.  

At the same time I felt sorrow for our World today.  What have people come to when they feel the need to bash on other peoples beliefs?  How mature are you when you feel like you can't answer someones question of where a person lives because my faith is different from yours?  In my opinion it is honestly a little depressing.  

But I continue to smile and laugh, because my purpose as a missionary is to invite ALL to come unto CHRIST!  What is a better responsibility than that?  What could possibly give me more joy than that?  I may be spit at, rejected, viewed at as not smart, seen as different from others, but I am still the happiest I could ever be. Because I represent the one true perfect person who has came to this Earth.  His name is Jesus Christ.  He was the perfect example, he gave us the way, showed us the plan for us, and became the mediator to atone for our imperfectness.  

So now it is my responsibility to represent him as best as I can for a mere 2 years of my life. For years, I had to answer peoples questions about our church in high school and middle school.  But I was never ashamed of who I am, I am a Latter Day Saint.  I had people tell me all kinds of things about my beliefs, but I was never disheartened. In fact, it only gave me opportunities to grow in my testimony.  

Other people aren't gonna stand up for MY beliefs because that's just it.  These are MY beliefs.  That is my advice to you mom, and to everyone else who reads this email.  Stand up for YOUR beliefs because no one else will, no one else can, not even the closest of friends or other loved ones.  

You may not be perfect, you may fall short, you may be out numbered, but you will never lack the power or strength necessary because He is on your side.  Jesus Christ.  That was what I learned in High School. That is why I would literally have to sometimes stand in front of the class and answer questions about what I believe in.  That is why I serve a mission.  That's why I continued to fight going home, even when I struggled to catch my next breathe.  And yes, I am very serious when I say there were times I didn't know if I was going to be alive to get home.  Because I know that this church is true.  Because I know that Jesus Christ LIVES, He loves us, and has prepared us all a way to come back into the presence of our Heavenly Father.  

It is now our responsibility to decide how prepared we will be to meet Him.  And because this work is the most important work I could be doing. I am not a perfect missionary, I am not perfect at Tagalog, but I can testify that Jesus Christ and Our Heavenly Father live.  They live and continue to guide me as I go throughout my mission.  I will never be afraid to testify of what I know is true because I have the strongest person on my side.  My challenge to all of you is to stand for your beliefs.  Because that is where you will find the greatest of joy and the true happiness that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Who is on your side?

Elder Warren